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Increase in popularity of durags, waves on campus

People wait in anticipation as YouTuber Wavy Cakes slowly removes his durag after a week of brushing. The durag comes off and reveals a ripple-like pattern wrapping around his head, otherwise known as 360 waves. He notes that this is only the beginning of his journey with waves.

Students at Paly have a wide variety of hairstyles, and waves  — a style of hair named for their ripple-like effect  — are quickly increasing in popularity.

There is a wide variety of waves, including the 180 waves, 360 waves and 720 waves, each determined by how the ripple like effect goes around one’s head.

Unlike most haircuts, waves require rigorous work to improve the depth of the ripple-like effect. The process requires constant brushing and moisture, as well as wearing a durag in order to protect the ripple effect from the brushing. Short, curly and coarse are optimal hair textures for quality waves.

Students such as senior Marco Tan began their journeys with waves this school year.

“I thought (waves) looked nice and I decided my hair could do this, so why not try?” Tan said.

Many other students have joined in this burgeoning hairstyle trend. Each student, including junior Keebin Dame, has a unique reason behind the decision to get waves.

“I got the waves because it’s part of my culture,” Dame said. “I really like the hairstyle. Waves are unique because they only work for certain hair types.”

Some have even gained a following for their progression of waves. This is due to people being intrigued with the different routines and seeing the ripple effect become more prevalent over time. Wavy Cakes has gained a following of nearly 40,000 subscribers.

“Other YouTubers got me into waves, and I wanted to try them out. I started getting waves because I feel that it is the coolest hairstyle in world at the moment.”

YouTuber Wavy Cakes

After someone like Tan obtains waves, a rigorous maintenance routine begins. Tan initially struggled with preserving his waves, but eventually refined his personal process.

“It was annoying at first, but after a while, I got used to it,” Tan said. “It’s all fine now — it’s a part of my day. I maintain them by conditioning my hair, brushing it and putting my durag on.”

However, the tools necessary to obtain and enhance waves can also be costly. Although there are $3 durags and brush sets starting at $10, premium products come at much higher prices. Additionally, haircuts are needed more often — Tan gets a haircut once a week. With the products and services combined, maintaining waves can cost hundreds of dollars.

In addition to frequent haircuts, waves also require daily maintenance. Unlike most hairstyles, waves require more than a simple shower and brush. Rather, they have to be maintained throughout the day. According to Wavy Cakes, frequent brushing and moisturizing, coupled with the use of durags, is essential to improving the depth and swirls of the ripple effect.

“Waves are a lot of work to get and maintain, but I think in the end that it is worth it.”

Junior Keebin Dame

Each person has their own routine to maintain their waves, making each individual’s experience unique. Wavy Cakes has a similar but slightly different routine to Tan.

“My routine is just to brush as long I can,” Wavy Cakes said. “When I’m not brushing, I have my durag on to save my progress. Whenever my waves are dry, I put on natural oils and moisturizer.”

In recent months, there has been an increase in people attempting this hairstyle at Paly, according to Tan, who said he originated the style at Palo Alto High School.

“They’re followers,” Tan said. “They just joined the wave game.”

The increase in popularity of waves has affected people beyond just appearances, according to Wavy Cakes. To Wavy Cakes, waves are more than just a hairstyle they’re a way for him to connect with others.

“I see it being the highly wanted hairstyle available for different races,”  Wavy Cakes  said. “It has affected my life by being able to have the platform and give peoples tips and possibly make it a career.”

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